Dice City: All That Glitters Review - Micro-Transaction Expansion

Expansions for games will come in all shapes and sizes these days. Typically you've got a box about half the size of the original that introduces several modular additions to the game and gives you enough to wet your appetite for playing it again. Some expansions go a bit crazy and hand you everything including the kitchen sink overwhelming you with choices and some are so small they seem more like the equivalent of DLC for games on Steam. Oh and there's the sub-category known as Fantasy Flight where expansions are loaded onto a conveyor belt and sent your way every 5 seconds forcing you to keep up or hide away in a corner and hope they don't know you're there with only the base game.

Dice City is what I call the replacement model for Machi Koro, a game which the most astute of you will notice appeared on my Top 10 Hated Games last year. I really didn't like how you had next to zero control over how it went and you essentially sat there and went along for the ride. Dice City gave me a similar theme of building a city using dice to trigger them, but allowing me much more variety, a decent amount of control and luck mitigation. It wasn't perfect, but I felt it was good and it still sits in my collection as a solid gateway game. I felt it could have used some extra buildings though, oh hello, we've got some now with All That Glitters! Now a word of warning, this might be the shortest review I've ever had to do because.  . . . . . . well you'll see.



Designer: Vangelis Bagiartakis
Publisher: Artipia Games / AEG
Age: 14+
Players: 1-4
Time: 45-60 minutes
RRP: £14.99


Is This An Expansion Or A Legacy Component?

Dice City: All That Glitters includes three new locations of each type (military, economic, cultural and civic) as well as a new commodity location, the Gold Mine which allows a player to acquire gold which can be used as a wild resource as well as paying for specific high power abilities on the new buildings.

Let's deal with the only negative first as it's rather a large one, which ironically is the opposite impression of the box itself. This is a very small box for a £15 price tag and you're not even using all the space inside to package the components, it's only as large as it is because of the punch board for the gold tokens. I'm noticing a trend with this lately, those of you who play Flip City will be gobsmacked at the expansion for that literally only including two new cards and as much as I love Viticulture, it's still a fair amount of money for a few extra cards in the Moors expansion. I kid you not, after playing through Pandemic Legacy, this is about the equivalent of a couple of packages that you open up during the game.


I Want Gooooooollldddd! 


The addition of gold adds another option of how you can play but it is by no means mandatory. It takes more resources to acquire the gold mines and then unless you're only using them as wild resources you need to cycle through the location deck to find the new buildings that use gold to perform more powerful effects. It gives you more of an incentive to cycle cards with one of your spare dice, but you may get the occasional game where you don't see many of them show up. Now the rulebook does give 3 options for how to set up the building deck with the new ones added and as long as you don't touch the "shove everything into one deck" version you'll be fine. You get 3 copies of each of the new buildings (so 36 new cards) and a full deck of gold mines so I'd be surprised if you had a game that never saw any, again, ignoring the variant already mentioned.

The new buildings themselves are pretty decent. They're not overpowered because even the ones that use gold take more effort to get set up to compensate. More variety is a good thing because with the right setup you can ensure that every game is different depending on what buildings you end up removing from each type.


Verdict

Well that was quick wasn't it? What little you get in this expansion to Dice City is decent enough. The Gold commodity adds a new dynamic to the game and provides additional options, but doesn't have a drastic influence over how it plays out. New buildings are always nice and that was really all I wanted, but it's a shame you only get a few extra here. They're good buildings, but could we have not had more? Random setups are welcome though though you probably won't notice a huge change given that I've never seen a game of Dice City end with the location deck running out.

So essentially All That Glitters just adds a little bit more of the good stuff, but I'm underwhelmed as to how little it adds for a price tag of £15. The main game doesn't even cost double that and I can't say that this adds 50% more value at all, hence it feels more like a DLC pack for Dice City. If you enjoy Dice City and have the disposable cash, grab it because the additions are good, but don't feel like you are forced to here.


If you are interested in this game you can find a copy at your friendly local gaming store - http://www.findyourgamestore.co.uk/



YOU WILL LIKE THIS GAME IF:


You have the disposable income and would like to add more to your copy of Dice City


Your main wish was to have more buildings and options available to you each game.



YOU WILL NOT LIKE THIS GAME IF:


The price tag is too much to ask for what you get included in the box.


You were expecting a larger expansion with lots more modules to add.




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